EP 14: Consenting to Grief as a Leadership Practice with Dean Nelson Ph.D.

Uncategorized Nov 13, 2020

Grief is inevitable as it's simply the other side of love.

The more you love, the more grief you feel. It’s inevitable when you’re all in on life and the relationships within it. This is the cost of a life full of love and meaning.

Daring to care means that grief and loss are inevitable.

If we let it, grief can be a powerful teacher. But first? It deconstructs. It disrupts the best-laid plans. And, it brings us to our knees both emotionally and physically.

But truly feeling grief and letting it express itself is how we learn to lead well.

Consenting to grief requires inner trust that you’re going to be okay. And this, my friends, is a powerful form of Self-Leadership. It requires a lot of work and support but it’s essential to continue to live and lead a brave life.

My guest today knows many forms of grief well and he has dared to be all in with feeling through his losses—and the losses of others who have touched his life—while continuing to step up in all the spaces he leads.

Dr. Dean Nelson is the Founder and Director of the Journalism Program at Point Loma Nazarene University, Founder and Host of Annual Writer's Symposium By The Sea, author of Talk To Me: How to Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers, and Interview Anyone Like A Pro and of God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World.

Dean is also my Sunday School teacher and a leader who cultivates one of the most sacred spaces in my life where I practice getting out of my own internal echo chamber so I can live with more grace, compassion, and courage.

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • How Dean viewed his work while navigating recent and deeply personal losses
  • The ways grief can show up in our physical bodies
  • Dean’s conscious choice to empathize—not harden—in the face of a tragic story he was the first on the scene to cover
  • How deep grief impacted how Dean leads in his work as a journalist, journalism professor, and university department head

Learn more about Dean Nelson:

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